Mar 2, 2011

CCM Opera Grad Shares Voice with Ohio Senator

CCM alum Lindsay Deeter performs National Anthem.

As a graduate of CCM's opera program, it may come as no surprise that my college experience was a bit “out of the ordinary.” By no means did I miss out on the normal UC college experiences – camping out for Crosstown Shootout tickets, pulling an all-nighter the night before a big test, hanging out with friends at Uncle’s Woody’s. But I also had my fair share of not so “ordinary” things – like spending an entire summer in Lucca, Italy performing in “Casanova’s Homecoming” and another in Malibu singing for the world-famous composer Jake Heggie.

Even so, nothing quite compares to my latest debut on Capitol Hill. Ohio Senator Rob Portman, invited me to sing The National Anthem for his Jan. 5th swearing-in ceremony. Each Senator-elect gets sworn in at the Capitol Building’s Senate floor by Vice President Joe Biden and I was asked to sing at his reception later that day. Naturally, it was an opportunity I could not pass up.

Deeter poses with mom and Senator Portman and his wife.
As the 400 guests arrived in the hearing room, I began working up the courage to sing the tune I’d been rehearsing in my head for weeks straight. Everyone was enjoying Ohio favorites – Smucker’s Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, Montgomery Inn barbeque and Skyline Chili. The Senator was taking pictures with his family and friends when Vice President Biden and his wife arrived. By sheer luck, I fell in his path and was able to greet him and shake his hand.

People always ask me if I get nervous before I sing and I always have the same answer, “No, I just use my nerves as adrenaline to do the best job I can.” And this performance was no exception.

The program began and I was introduced immediately after the invocation. As the lyrics left my lips, I couldn’t help but remember what I’d been told earlier –singing is not traditionally permitted in the hearing rooms. But this was no traditional occasion and was certainly a moment I would look back on with fond memories.

In that moment, my UC pride combined with my Ohio roots left me feeling both Proudly Cincinnati and Proudly Ohio all at once – and I couldn’t have been happier to be the voice for such an incredible moment in history. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ll never hear The National Anthem again without being taken back to that day on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: Lindsay Deeter, College-Conservatory of Music, 2006

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